8 Reasons Your Vagina Might Feel Sore After Sex

Seriously, you might just need to poo.
PHOTO: istockphoto

Picture this: You've just had a wild romp in bed and you're dying to go again, but you have a nagging, aching feeling that you'll feel sore—either in the morning or immediately after the act. Feeling soreness in your vagina is more common than you think, especially when it’s brought on after sex.

Here, Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, FACOG, director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln who's double-board-certified in OB-GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine, and Brian A. Levine, MD, FACOG, the reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist of CCRM who's also a double-board-certified OB-GYN, explain some common reasons why you might be feeling sore after sex.

  1. You're not lubricated enough.

    As amazing as it is that your vagina self-lubricates, this can pose a problem if you're not as wet as you'd like to be. You can totally be in the right turned-on mindset, your partner can have gone down on you for hours beforehand, you can be the horniest you've ever felt, but sometimes there are underlying reasons you're not producing as much natural lubrication as you’d like. Dr. Gaither mentions things like age, medications (like allergy meds), birth control methods, and inadequate foreplay as factors here.

    Dr. Levine adds that having sex for too long in one session can also cause dryness. So do yourself a favor and invest in some condoms that fit your needs (latex? non-latex? lubed, no lube?) and get a separate bottle of condom-safe lube so you can avoid the circle of hell that is dry skin rubbing on latex.

  2. Your partner is too well-endowed or the toys you're using might be too large.

    If your partner's penis is too large or you're using internal toys that are too big, it may be hitting your cervix, which can be incredibly uncomfortable, explains Dr. Gaither. You'll know if you're hitting your cervix, as it's SUPER uncomfy and you'll likely want to change positions ASAP.

  3. You're having rough sex and it's causing small vaginal tears.

    Rough sex can cause tearing within the vaginal mucosa, explains Dr. Gaither. "The tears may be superficial, with stinging and pain noted after sex/possibly with urination depending on the location." Larger tears could be deeper, causing blood loss, and might even necessitate surgical repair, she adds. However, superficial tears generally heal on their own within a few days, while deeper tears take a few weeks. In that time, you'll likely want to avoid sex or slow down a bit, as you'll feel each tear during sex.

  4. You’re having a reaction to latex in condoms, lubricants, or other oils and lotions.

    If you're allergic or sensitive to latex, lubes, or other topicals you're exposing your vagina to, this irritation can also cause soreness.

  5. You have an infection.

    Dr. Gaither explains that if you have herpes, a yeast infection, bacterial vaginitis, or other common infections, these can lead to inflammation and soreness afterward. When you have a vaginal infection, the mucosa is inflamed. "If you have a vaginal infection, the mucosa is inflamed. Friction on an inflamed surface—particularly given the surface is not lubricated—will likely cause pain during sex and discomfort after," she adds. 

  6. You might have endometriosis.

    Along with being one of the leading causes of infertility and pelvic pain, endometriosis can cause your uterus to feel very sensitive during sex and "ache" if irritated, explains Dr. Levine. With endometriosis, "essentially cells that should be only in the lining of the uterus grow outside of the uterus and, as a result, can implant in all parts of the pelvis."

  7. You might be constipated.

    Yep! Dr. Levine says that if you have a colon full of stool (even worse if it's hard stool), this can compress the back part of your vagina during sex in certain positions.

  8. You might have a tilted uterus.

    Dr. Levine adds that many women have a retroverted or tilted uterus. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 25 percent of women have a uterus that "leans backward or tilts at the cervix." For these women, sex in certain positions means the uterus is getting "bumped," which is not pleasurable.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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